If your loved one suffers from bedsores, especially severe lesions, this could signify nursing home neglect. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) considers severe bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers) “never events.” CMS believes nursing homes can prevent advanced bedsores, and residents who receive adequate care should not develop later-stage bedsores.
However, if bedsores remain unaddressed or do not receive adequate treatment, they can progress dramatically. Bedsores eventually expose bone and muscle and can lead to excruciatingly painful infections and immense suffering. If your loved one suffers from the effects of untreated bedsores in their nursing home, you should demand answers from nursing home staff and management.
Since severe bedsores can have dramatic consequences on the health of your loved one, you might have legal recourse. You can work with a San Antonio bedsores lawyer to determine whether you have a case. Call (800) 842-6336 to connect with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and speak with a team member.
Bedsores are skin injuries that can form due to prolonged pressure. While nursing home residents can be particularly at risk for developing bedsores when immobile, bedsores are largely preventable.
The Mayo Clinic explains how bedsores can affect any area of the body that experiences long-term pressure and tend to develop in places where the patient has thin skin covering bony areas:
Preventing Bedsores in the Nursing Home
Nursing home staff should know the early signs of bedsores and how to treat and prevent them effectively. Early signs of bedsores can include:
- Skin discoloration
- Skin that feels warm to the touch
- Skin that feels hard to the touch
- Pain in the affected area
- Itchiness in the affected area
While confinement to one’s bed and immobility are significant risk factors for developing bedsores, other reasons can also cause them.
Dehydration or Malnutrition
Receiving adequate nutrition and fluids, including a range of vitamins and minerals, is essential to ensure a resident’s overall health, including their skin. If a resident suffers from neglect in the nursing home and does not receive adequate hydration or nutritious meals, they become at higher risk for developing bedsores.
If staff neglects a nursing home resident’s hygiene, their skin may come into prolonged contact with feces and urine. This exposure can lead to pressure sores developing in the area.
Residents who suffer from medical conditions that restrict blood flow and circulation can become at higher risk for developing bedsores. Those patients with diabetes and vascular diseases are at particular risk.
The nursing home should reduce the risk for residents developing bedsores to the bare minimum. Staff must frequently reposition those patients confined to their beds to prevent the formation of bedsores. Employees can also prevent bedsores by taking good care of residents’ skin. Keeping skin clean, dry, and moisturized helps prevent bedsores. Other steps a nursing home can take include:
- Using skin-protecting cushions.
- Meticulous and frequent wound care.
- Removing infected or dead tissue promptly.
Not taking steps to control bedsores could signify negligence by the nursing home. If your loved one suffers from bedsores, you should question staff and nursing home administrators. You can also contact a San Antonio bedsores lawyer for help and advice. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more.
For a free legal consultation with a Bedsores Lawyer serving San Antonio, call (800) 842-6336
Bedsores Can Turn Deadly
Failure of the nursing home to take appropriate steps for preventing later-stage bedsores can have dramatic and life-threatening consequences for a resident. Once bedsores progress, they can become difficult—even impossible—to treat or control. Some of the dangerous effects of later-stage bedsores include:
- Cellulitis, an infection of the skin.
- Severe bone and joint infections.
- Skin cancer due to long-term unhealed wounds.
- Sepsis and septic shock.
Joint and bone infections resulting from bedsores can further immobilize a nursing home resident and make it extremely painful for them to move the affected bones and joints. Sepsis, a serious blood infection, can potentially lead to septic shock and untimely death. Doctors can easily treat bedsores at an early stage. It should never come to patients suffering any of these complications if nursing home staff deliver an adequate standard of care.
If your family member suffered any major health deterioration or condition due to later-stage bedsores, a San Antonio bedsores lawyer might be able to assist you. Learn about your legal options. You could recover compensation for your loved one’s suffering and expenses such as medical bills and moving costs.
San Antonio Bedsores Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Holding the Nursing Home to Account
Bedsores are not merely an expected consequence of aging and immobility. In some cases, they can indicate neglect or abuse by nursing home staff. By law, the nursing home must ensure a certain standard of care. The Nursing Home Reform Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395i–3) mandates that the nursing home must “provide services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.”
Unfortunately, some nursing homes focus more on their profits than their residents’ physical and mental well-being. This misplaced focus can manifest itself in understaffing or not taking steps to hire qualified care staff.
It is unacceptable when caregivers feel too rushed to tend to residents or have not received training regarding how to treat bedsores. The nursing home has the ultimate responsibility for its staff and providing quality care. If you can prove that the nursing home has acted negligently and failed to address your loved one’s bedsores in time, you could potentially recover compensation.
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Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
If your loved one was admitted to the hospital or had to endure painful medical treatments or surgeries due to bedsores caused by nursing home neglect, you do not have to stand for it. You have the right to demand compensation for your damages within the two-year statute of limitations set by Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you hold the nursing home liable for your loved one’s injuries. A San Antonio bedsores lawyer can research your case, gather the necessary evidence, and progress your claim throughout the various stages of a personal injury lawsuit. Contact our team today at (800) 842-6336 to determine how we could help you and your loved one get justice and compensation.